Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari appears to be putting on a brave face following a wave of defections of lawmakers from his All Progressive Congress (APC) party on Tuesday
It was first fourteen of the 15 lawmakers who left the APC to join the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a letter read on the Senate floor on Tuesday stated.
Another senator later left the ruling APC while parliament was in session.
In a tweet, President Muhammadu Buhari wished them "the very best":
I wish all of our party members who today defected, the very best in their future undertakings. The APC has done its best to stop the defections, and I must commend the party leadership for working tirelessly to unite the party and position it for future victory.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) July 24, 2018
I am confident that no harm or injury will be done by these defections, to the APC and its aspirations. I urge party faithful to not despair, but to instead see this as something that happens in seasons like this, on the eve of elections.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) July 24, 2018
As the saying goes, all politics is local. We understand that some of the Distinguished and Honourable lawmakers have issues in/with their home states, especially on zoning which bars some of them from seeking another term in their constituencies.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) July 24, 2018
Let me also note that none of the defecting federal lawmakers has any specific grievances against me or the government I lead; neither do I harbour any ill-feeling towards any of them. I fully respect their freedom to choose what party to associate with.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) July 24, 2018
I am using this opportunity to restate my total commitment to the values of democracy, as well as my total willingness to work with ALL members of the National Assembly, irrespective of their political party, for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) July 24, 2018
The defections, and the suggestion that there may be more to